Experts on scholarships and grants at UTMN

Student life 3 November 2020

Yulia Vasilyeva, Head of the Department of social and scholarship support for students, and Artem Berezkin, Head of the Department of educational projects for youth, answer the most common questions about scholarships and grants. In this interview, experts talk about the best ways to acquire a grant, some conditions and rules to be aware of, and possible difficulties. 

 

What is a “scholarship”? How does it differ from a grant?
Yulia Vasilyeva: Scholarship is a monetary payment assigned to students to stimulate and (or) support their development in educational programs (art. 36, federal law – No. 273-FZ “On education in the Russian Federation”).  
Artem Berezkin: A grant is a type of subsidy that is provided by organizations or individuals on a competitive basis for the implementation of specific projects. Grant is an awarded amount of money followed by a mandatory use report by the recipient. 
In a word, the scholarship is paid for the specific merits of the student in their studies. You can spend the scholarship as you like. A grant is provided for the realizations of a specific project. It is mandatory to supply a report on how the money was allocated. 

What types of scholarships exist? Which of them are available at UTMN?
YV: There are 7 types of scholarships in the Russian Federation: 
- state academic scholarship for students;
- state social support scholarship for students;
- state scholarship for postgraduate students;
- scholarships allocated by the President of the Russian Federation and scholarships of the government of the Russian Federation;
- individual fellowship grants;
- scholarships appointed by a private company or an individual ;
- scholarships for students of preparatory departments (special cases envisaged by the Federal law).

UTMN offers a large variety of scholarships.

Is that true that to apply for a scholarship, a student must have personal achievements: gold medals, certificates, and diplomas?
YV: It is highly encouraged! Personal achievements are significant, but it all depends on the criteria of the competition. Each scholarship program has its requirements.  
For instance, some state academic scholarships are awarded for academic success. Therefore, to receive a state academic scholarship you’ll need to provide a list of your achievements over the past year in one of five types of activities: education, research, social work, arts, or sports. 
To receive a scholarship allocated by the President of the RF or a government scholarship, it is necessary to have made some outstanding achievements in academic or scientific fields. Additionally, it is necessary to have your works published in international, national, or departmental journals. 
To participate in the competition for the “Teledva” scholarship, you must complete a practical task, submit a project, and then defend it. 
The “Alpha-Chance” scholarship has quite steep requirements. You’d need to win a multi-disciplinary Olympiad and write a stellar essay (it must be in the top-30). 
To win in the V. Potanin scholarship competition, students should explore their entrepreneurial side. A master’s student should be able to share their knowledge and skills, generate ideas, implement them, take personal responsibility for the result, and be a leader.
All in all, the criteria for applying for a scholarship vary. We’ve listed all you need to know about it at the UTMN website.

Do you think it is difficult for a student to get a scholarship provided by the University, our partners, or the state?
YV: With enough dedication, it is not difficult to win a scholarship. The requirements for scholarship holders differ, but everyone has the opportunity to try their hand and compete for several types of scholarships at once. Statistics show that with the growing number of participants, the number of scholarship programs also grows. Conditions and selection criteria of the competitions are constantly changing. The amount of financial support is also increasing. 
AB: Talking about grants, the amount of funds aimed at supporting civil initiatives is increasing. Both the state and the private sector are investing more. For instance, if we analyze the most famous grant competition among young people - the all-Russian competition for youth projects from ‘Rosmolodezh’, we see great growth. Earlier a maximum of 300,000 rubles was allocated for the implementation of an initiative, today, absolutely any citizen of the Russian Federation between 14 to 30 years old can receive up to 1.5 million rubles for the implementation of their project. This amount grew almost five times!
It is also important to note that every year the University expands opportunities for students in terms of supporting in the implementation of initiatives. This year, we launched a competition for student initiatives with a total Fund of 2.5 million rubles. A single initiative can receive up to 150,000 rubles.

Why do you think many students don't pursue these opportunities?
YV: That’s not quite true. Students are driven to win scholarships. There is just this misconception that the only students eligible to win a scholarship are the ones that are already studying for free (on a budgetary basis). I suppose this impression is formed because the state academic scholarship is the most common one and it can only be received by individuals who study on a budget basis. But there are many other scholarship competitions where the most student can apply. 
AB: In terms of grants, it is not so complicated to win a grant competition. It is more complicated to make a report about where the money went after. Also, to apply for a grant, you need to have a socially important idea, believe in the cause, and inspire others to make the change. 

If it's not a secret, what is the maximum amount of scholarships students can get?
YV: Everything depends on the drive and capabilities of the student. You can receive several scholarships at the same time if this does not contradict the terms of the competition. 
At UTMN, some people receive several scholarships at once. For instance, Ksenia Scythia has won a scholarship from the Governor of the Tyumen region, a scholarship from the government of the Russian Federation, the Oxford grant, and an advanced state academic scholarship. Among undergraduates, Andrey Anisimov was won several scholarships at once. 

How can students receive a grant for their ideas?
AB: There is no ready solution. But it seems to me that it is quite easy to win a grant if you sincerely believe in the significance of your idea. If your idea is truly impactful, there shouldn’t be a problem to form a proper motivational letter and to defend your project.
It is also paramount to have a team for the project and be able to form your application form correctly (including legal terms). In the future, we plan to launch an online course on “grant writing” at UTMN. Upon finishing the course, students will be given certificates.

Can spend a grant be spend on other things besides the projects?
AB: No. By definition, a grant is given for the implementation of a specific initiative. At the end of the project implementation period, participants are required to submit accounting documents.
Can a scholarship be considered a salary?
YV: The scholarship is an additional benefit. It can be considered as a bonus. A salary is an obligation on the part of the employer before its employees, and its payment stops only after the employment contract is terminated. Scholarships are different. Its payment stops during the interim certification period when a satisfactory or unsatisfactory assessment is done.

Where can any student view information about all current scholarships and grant competitions?
YV: Information about scholarships is available on the University's website. Information about upcoming scholarship competitions is published in the news on the University's website and communities in social networks.
AB: Information about all grants for youth can be found at the "Molodedjka" group and at the workshop for youth projects "19/30".

Source: UTMN Department of Strategic Communications

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